Guest Blog> Kevin Matuszak
For about six months now I have been bugging Eklund (@Eklund) to let me write freelance on his site. I wasn’t asking to write on this site for the money. I wasn’t asking to do it to get my name out there (because I’m already pretty internet famous — Google me. I’m so internet famous). I was asking to do it because HockeyBuzz is the perfect destination for a guy like me to combine his passion for hockey and comedy. Since this is website is already comedy driven, I felt that this was the perfect place for me. So consider my this blog my cherry being popped.
There are several things swirling around inside of my small brain about how to approach this monthly blog update. One of them being reader driven; where you, the reader, decide on what I write about. The other being that I write about some things that annoy me about the NHL like the shootout or like how FOX no longer carries the games and it’s impossible to follow the pucks since the robot with the blue/red puck indicator disappeared. For now, I’ll keep it open. I’ll talk about things that annoy me like the lack of robots and I’ll also dive into what annoys you and find a reason to agree with you or to explain why you’re an idiot and completely wrong.
Since this is my first blog and nobody has sent anything into my nonexistent mailbag, I’ll just start with something that annoys me and a way to possibly fix it.
The shootout is an amazing concept when it involves cops and criminals in the movies. Especially when the movie involves Denzel Washington and he is fighting for his son because whatever movie he’s starring in during that shootout scene, he’s fighting for his son in 86% of the the time. If you don’t agree with that statistic, you have not seen enough of Denzel’s movies. Aside from those shootouts and the shootouts we hear about on the news that are super depressing, we have the NHL shootout which is truly awful. Don’t get me wrong though. There is some excitement in a shootout because it’s fun to see what these puck danglers have up their sleeves. However, it’s the most awful way to decide a win or loss. Hockey is a team sport and the shootout eliminates the entire idea of a team. The shootout brings out the I in team. For all of you Taking Back Sunday fans, there is an I in team… when it comes to the NHL. The league believes the shootout keeps fans intrigued, but in reality, there’s nothing better than playoff overtime hockey. When you have no hat in the ring, you usually hope for an overtime in playoff hockey. It’s edge of your seat entertainment. However, the league decided to kill ongoing overtime in the regular season and that’s lame.
How do we fix this, you ask? Well the obvious answer is easy: Play until someone scores. That didn’t blow your mind, right? That’s what most hockey fans would love to see. BUT, I did come up with another idea that would be mega-entertaining and also better than the shootout. How about this…
Overtime begins. The puck drops. It’s 4v4 and things are moving fast. The clock starts counting down from the 20 minute mark and we play out an overtime period. Now will you look at that, it’s still tied! This is where it gets interesting. In the second overtime we do one of two things..
1.) 3v3 in a 20 minute overtime period. This creates more space and adds more exciting play. We will most likely get out winner by the second OT. Easy. If not, 3v3 continues.
2.) 5v5 in a 20 minute overtime. You’re probably thinking, “WHAT?! We go from 4v4 to 5v5?!”. Yes. We do. And here’s the curveball… we add a second puck. BOOM! Your mind is blown. We now have 10 skaters on the ice going up and down trying to score with two separate pucks. This could mean a team has two pucks at one time or each team has a puck and it’s a shooting range until a goal. It maintains a team element and also keeps the honesty of positional play in tact. I’m not explaining this any further because it is what it is.
So that’s how we fix shootouts in the NHL and keep the extra minutes entertaining for the fans.
This is my first blog and I’m not a proclaimed phenomenal writer. I do love hate mail though so please feel free to send me any hate mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @KevinMatuszak. Please tweet me though because Twitter is the best.